Being a new family – through marriage, new birth or adoption – is a great opportunity to begin your own Christmas traditions. You have a clean slate on which to plan, and develop, Christmas traditions that can be passed down through the generations of your family. But there is a problem in today’s economy-money. Many of us simply do not have the money to celebrate Christmas in a “ritzy” style this year. Fortunately, there are many inexpensive Christmas traditions that you can incorporate into your new family.
Christmas Caroling-where a group of people walks through the neighborhood singing Christmas carols-is an old, charming tradition that costs you nothing but your time and your vocal chords. It’s also a great way to put you, and others, into the Christmas spirit.
To become part of a Christmas Caroling group, watch the newspaper and any community announcements closely. Many churches organize Christmas caroling groups and would welcome your participation. You can also organize your own Christmas caroling group. Simply call a few friends and ask them if they would be interested in joining. You can also call your local newspaper, tell them of your plans to start a group, and ask them if they will write a story about it. Such a story will likely bring you a lot more participants, and you won’t have to spend any money for advertising.
If you need help organizing your group, you can download this Christmas Caroling Kit that helps you with the planning-everything from invitations to Christmas caroling safety tips. In addition, the Book of Carols, online, has the lyrics to most of the popular Christmas carols-for free.
Similar to public poetry readings, Christmas readings can be a wonderful Christmas tradition for your new family. Simply gather together a group of friends, or use the newspaper to help you recruit people, and pick a place for the reading. (Your local church is also a great place to recruit participants.) To save money, you can hold the reading at someone’s house, and have each person bring some cheery Christmas appetizers. Any of the Christmas reading material can be borrowed from the library, and a lot of classics-like A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas can be found online by doing a Google search. Then take turns reading the selected pieces.
Christmas Civic Events
Most communities have some form of Christmas celebrations, from parades to Christmas tree lighting ceremonies. My town, for instance, has one day where they close off the downtown area to traffic, so that shoppers can SHOP along the strip of merchants. Our local hospital also has a Christmas candle lighting ceremony. Your community likely has similar events, and this is a great way to begin a Christmas tradition for your new family, events that are free to attend. Watch the media for announcements of these events, or check with your local Chamber of Commerce.